Coming Home/帰宅

japanese cake Japanese Food
Thanks to my brother and sister, I’ve been able to return home. Last week, I took the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo to Echigo Yuzawa. Like I usually do, I bought a can of beer and some snack at the kiosk before riding it.

Nodogoshi Nama. Not exactly a beer but a beer-like alcoholic beverage under the category of “dai-san (third) no beer”.
Cheeza, which contains 53% cheese, never ever fails to satisfy me.

Spring is late in coming here in Niigata. The cherry trees are yet to bloom.

My son surprised my wife and me by suddenly coming home on the night of April 1…

The next day, he gave us these two presents.

Nama Nori (product name), nori no tsukudani (nori seaweed seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings) and sanuki udon. Both are souvenirs from Kagawa prefecture, Shikoku.

Just put some of it on top of hot rice.

My son’s birthday is in April, and we went to our favorite soba restaurant, Tabata-ya.

The spacious seating area (zashiki), with tatami mats laid out, will make any Japanese feel at home.

My daughter ordered a “chahan set”.

I ordered a “tenju set”.

Tenju is short for tempura jubako (tired box). I think the term tenju set is a misnomer for this set because it contains a tendon (short for tempura donburi) not a tenju.

As usual, my son and wife ordered 3 servings of hegi soba and 1 tempura plate.

“Hegi” refers to a wooden frame, like the one shown above, used to place coils of soba beautifully. Here in the Uonuma region of Niigata, soba contains a type of seawead called funori, which gives the soba a greenish color and a firm and sleek texture.

The right piece is a fukinoto (butter bur sprout) tempura.

(The bottom left piece is buna shimeji tempura that I gave my son from my tenju set.)
Later, my daughter ordered gobo (burdock root) karaage.

We shared the dish, natually. Believe it or not, this particular gobo karaage is the best-selling snack at this particular soba restaurant.

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